Sir – Re. Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Community Village Stores: May I correct a statement in the Wallingford Herald of December 2 and also comment on the general implication of the article?

The accounts to the end of 2014 show that a total of £225,384 has been raised – not the £150,000 mentioned in the article. This was largely as the result of the efforts of a small fundraising group headed by David Dobbin.

They also show that the shop is now operating at a level just to cover its cash outgoings but not sufficient to provide for depreciation, the replacement of shop fittings nor to put anything aside for a “rainy day”.

The Post Office requires the shop to operate the post office for 46½ hours a week.

It would cost in wages alone (at the national minimum wage of £6.70/hour) some £16,200 a year to pay staff to work those hours. We have no idea what commission the shop would receive to offset this.

Clearly it is not commercially sensible to take on a full-service Post Office on these terms. The village is used to a much lower number of hours – why change it?

We also don’t know what the shop would have to pay towards the alterations? These are only some of the many unanswered questions.

On the practical side, we heard vividly at the open meeting from both Post Office staff and shop volunteers about the difficulties of operating the Post Office next to the shop counter.

It would be tragic to lose a shop, which is developing so well and for which we fought so hard, for the sake of retaining in the shop a full-service Post Office which makes no sense either operationally or financially.

Jim Sanger